Team Natchez kicks off ‘Real Men Wear Pink’ campaign

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, June 11, 2019


NATCHEZ — Team Natchez kicks off the 2019 Real Men Wear Pink campaign for breast cancer on June 20 in Jackson with the first of many fundraising events that will last through October.

Last year, Team Natchez raised more than $35,000 for the American Cancer Society, which was the 16th highest contribution in the nation, said the former “real man in pink” Dan Gibson.

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“The American Cancer Society decided to feature us in their monthly newsletter just a few months ago because they thought we had really written the book on how to be engaged and involve the entire community,” Gibson said. “We had such a good time with this fundraiser and have so much momentum left over from last year that we can’t wait to do it again this year.”

A wide part of that contribution came from donations made during Natchez Festival of Music events in a string of musical fundraisers called “Concerts 4 the Cure,” and this year, festival president Diana Glaze said she hopes Natchez would “break our own record.”

To make fundraising fun, each participating city in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign nominates a man in pink to be the face of their campaign, and at the end of Gibson’s run last October, Team Natchez nominated The Rev. Kevin Deason of New Direction Worship Center.

“I am excited about representing the city of Natchez,” Deason said. “This campaign is an opportunity to pull this whole community together. … The cause is very dear to my heart. I lost my mother to cancer five years ago and my mother in law to cancer two years ago. Knowing that there are different options available to help them is encouraging.”

Gibson said for the first fundraiser, Team Natchez is planning a road trip to the Fairview Inn in Jackson starting at 5 p.m., where a silent auction and donations will bring in the first dollars for cancer research.

Coming up, Gibson said Concerts 4 the Cure dates are staged once a month starting in July at 4 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month.

The next big event, a gospel concert, will be 4 p.m. July 28 at New Direction Worship Center at 306 Oak St., Gibson said, followed by a classical concert, all local talent show and a Broadway music grand finale at Monmouth Historic Inn.

As the face of the 2019 campaign, Deason said he’s honored to represent Natchez.

“It’s really awesome to have the support of so many people who support this cause and it’s an honor,” Deason said. “This is a great opportunity for the city of Natchez to come together and show the rest of the nation how unified we are as citizens in support of a common cause.”